Skip to main content

Steve Irwin: In memoriam

The death of Steve Irwin (4 September 2006) came to me as a shock, but hardly a surprise. Anyone who is with nature is exposed to dangerous situations. I was a student in Australia almost a decade ago when Irwin became a global celebrity. He has a unique way of speaking the broad Strine accent. That accent I haven't heard from any true blue Aussie until Irwin came along on the telly.

I got a chance in 1999 to visit Australia Zoo in Beerwah, QLD and saw him go through his routines. Bindi was then a baby. But since then I have followed Irwin's career on Animal Planet and as time ambled along, got tired of his antics. So it was no wonder that his TV show had some major overhauling.

Obviously Irwin is considered as an Aussie Icon. And Aussie Icon who spoke that broad Strine accent with his mouth wide open. Perhaps he had to do some exagerration since he was catering to the American audience. Nonetheless, in a visit to the USA, some of my nephews were big fans of the show.

Irwin's death reinforces the idea that Australia is such a mean, mean place. Well evolution has given this island-continent its own suite of dangerous animals. Having lived in the Australian bush, it took me a while to get used to the strange ecology, being bedfellows with a carpet python and a funnel web spider. In Australia, animals that could deal death are never far away. Even in the centre of Sydney or Melbourne, it is possible to be in contact with these deadlies.

There was a country song sung in Tamworth, NSW listing all of Australia's dangerous animals, from taipans, redbacks to funnel webs, salties, box jellies, irukanjies to blue ringed octopus and lastly humans. It was a funny ditty but true. One fact of life in Australia is one needs to learn to live with these animals.

And in learning to live with these animals, you would eventually learn to love them. There is something about Australia that makes a person want to encounter these animals. And to think I only live there for a few years. Steve Irwin, true blue as he is, was born in Australia. No wonder he was attracted to these deadlies like a magnet. Gorgeous. Isn't she a beauty!

Death by stingray barb is extremely remote as death by the other deadlies in Australia is just as remote. But in going out that way, Irwin passed from death into legend. Someday a song in Tamworth will be sung describing his antics.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

President Manuel Luis Quezon's Code of Ethics

Being a denizen of Kyusi, in honour of the man who gave my city its name and for being the most colourful prez the Philippines ever had, I have the pleasure to post Manuel L Quezon's Code of Ethics on his birthday. Let us profit from the wisdom of the Kastila.

1. Have Faith in the Divine Providence that guides the destinies of men and nations.

2. Love your country for it is the home of your people, the seat of your affection and the source of your happiness and well-being. It's defense is your primary duty. Be ready to sacrifice and die for it if necessary.

3. Respect the Constitution which is the expression of your sovereign will. The government is your government. It has been established for your safety and welfare. Obey the laws and see that they are observed by all and that public officials comply with their duties.

4. Pay your taxes willingly and promptly. Citizenship implies not only rights but obligations.

5. Safeguard the purity of suffrage and abide by the decisions of the…

Simoun's lamp has been lit, finally.. not by one but by the many!

"So often have we been haunted by the spectre of subversion which, with some fostering, has come to be a positive and real being, whose very name steals our serenity and makes us commit the greatest blunders... If before the reality, instead of changing the fear of one is increased, and the confusion of the other is exacerbated, then they must be left in the hands of time..."
Dr Jose Rizal "To the Filipino People and their Government"
Jose Rizal dominates the Luneta, which is sacred to the Philippine nation as a place of martyrdom. And many perhaps all of those executed in the Luneta, with the exception of the three Filipino secular priests martyred in 1872, have read Rizal's El Filibusterismo. Dr Rizal's second novel is a darker and more sinister one that its prequel but has much significance across the century and more after it was published for it preaches the need for revolution with caveats,  which are when the time is right and who will instigate it.

Flame trees in bloom

The hottest summer courtesy of El Nino in at least 10 years gave runners and walkers in the University of the Philippines Diliman campus a visual treat. This year the flame trees Delonix regia are in full bloom!
In past summers it wasn't as hot and dry so the trees did not shed their leaves and few blooms were produced.
It is the tropical version of the Japanese Hanami or the Cherry blossom viewing season. While Hanami tells us the fragile impermanence of beauty, the flame tree hanami tells us that summer burns but soon it will all be over.